Pac-12 Media Day: ASU head coach Todd Graham says 2014 offense is best he’s coached


Football head coach Todd Graham, redshirt senior quarterback Taylor Kelly and redshirt senior offensive lineman Jamil Douglas took their turn at Pac-12 Football Media Days on Thursday, and offense was main subject.

During his opening remarks, Graham called this year’s offense the “best I’ve ever coached.” The offense will be looking to improve on a rather impressive 2013 season and may have to be the best Graham has coached to make up for the losses on defense.

In his first public comments since the losses of junior college transfers Dalvon Stuckey and Darrius Caldwell, Graham said he is “excited about the guys we have here.”

Watch coach Todd Graham’s media day comments

He also acknowledged that he and his staff were aware of the risks of bringing in junior college transfers and did not plan on building his team on them. Graham did not go into detail about how he plans on replacing those players and the nine starters lost from last season.

Graham and his staff have liked recruiting players from the junior college level and have had some success doing so, with players like Marion Grice, Chris Young and Jaelen Strong.

Graham said he is comfortable at ASU and is fully committed to staying at ASU “for the long haul” and building up the football program.

Kelly and Douglas echoed Graham’s excitement for the offense in their comments to the media on Thursday.

“Our offense is very experienced,” Kelly said. “We have a lot of guys that have been in the system for three years, especially on the offensive side. Our offensive line is huge experience-wise.”

Watch quarterback Taylor Kelly’s media day comments

Douglas may be the most experienced on the offensive line, and he spoke on Thursday about cutting down the mistakes and “negative plays” this season.

“When you look at our negative plays, that’s something that we can really improve on,” Douglas said. “I think mainly we can improve on negative plays an taking care of the football.”

The offseason saw some rumors that offensive coordinator Mike Norvell was up for head coaching jobs in college football; however, ASU instead promoted him to deputy head coach in December to keep him on staff. Kelly and Douglas spoke on Thursday about their relationship with Norvell and how important it is that he stick around.

“My relationship with coach Norvell is awesome,” Kelly said. “I can come at him with relationship problems, family problems. It’s just been an awesome experience to build that relationship with him.”

Douglas echoed a lot of Kelly’s comments when he spoke about his relationship with his offensive coordinator and new deputy head coach.

Watch offensive lineman Jamil Douglas’s media day comments

“I have a great relationship with coach Norvell, I can talk to him about anything,” Douglas said. “He’s a great guy, a passionate guy, and I can tell he really cares about us.”

The Sun Devils will now head back to Tempe and prepare for the start of their fall practices starting on Aug. 2. They travel to Camp Tontozona for their annual preseason camp on Aug. 12.

 

Reach the reporter at wslane@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @bill_slane